PERMEA-TEC Sensors An Important Breakthrough in Glove Selection
Toxic chemicals such as pesticides, aromatic amines, and isocyanates can permeate gloves and protective clothing. Wide variations in the chemical resistance of gloves and protective clothing compositions make protective equipment selection difficult—especially if using mixtures of chemicals in the workplace.
Many factors affect the performance of gloves during actual use. Flexing, stretching, pressure and abrasion are physical factors that can cause premature breakthrough and bring into question reliance on ASTM Laboratory breakthrough data. PERMEA-TEC sensors show when breakthrough actually occurs and enables the safety professional to select the glove that is best suited for the job in terms of protection, employee acceptance and cost effectiveness. The sensitivity of the PERMEA-TEC sensors is 3-5 µg for aromatic amines and isocyanates.
PERMEA-TEC sensors should be attached to the hands of the worker before gloving. It is recommended that the detector be placed on the thumb, middle finger, and palm, as these areas represent the highest degree of contact and abrasion. During initial evaluation of a new glove, the worker should be double gloved as a safety precaution. Attach PERMEA-TEC sensors to the outside of the glove currently in use and don the new glove over the first. Check sensors hourly to determine when breakthrough occurs and change gloves accordingly.
The picture above shows a close-up of two PERMEA-TEC sensors. The top PERMEA-TEC shows the middle strip that has not been exposed to chemical breakthrough. The bottom shows a color change on the middle strip, indicating that break through has occurred.
Studies show that occlusion of skin increases absorption of chemicals by a factor of 5 to 10 times. Gloves and non-porous clothing effectively occlude the skin, thereby resulting in enhanced absorption of permeating chemicals. PERMEA-TEC sensors produce a color change when permeation occurs, thus providing a method for field validation of the efficacy of protective clothing. Using PERMEA-TECs once a week (on a daily basis when handling highly toxic chemicals) demonstrates the need for safe work practices and documents protection from chemical exposure.
PERMEA-TECs have been developed for environments that handle:
- Aromatic Amines
- Aliphatic Amines
- Aromatic Isocyanates
- Aliphatic Isocyanates
- Acid/Base contaminants
Product comes in packages of 20 for breakthrough detection for the chemicals listed above.